Last weekend, the Vikings traveled to Iowa to take on the Pioneers of Grinnell College. With a seven-hour bus ride to get the players to the field, away games can take a toll on the team. Senior quarterback Luke Barthelmess stated, “The biggest issue with away games is probably just that it throws off your daily routine. The long bus ride, sleeping in a different bed, buffet meals, etc., those are the things that have a potential mental or physical impact on how players are prepared. It’s just a matter of overcoming those petty irritations as a team.” Despite these obstacles, the Vikes walked on the field ready to dominate the Pioneers.
Barthelmess and fellow senior Tyler Mazur seemed to have the game of their lives. Barthelmess ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. He ran 17 times for 103 yards, and in addition to that he topped the 100-yard mark for the second time this season! To even top that, Barthelmess completed 14 out of 29 passes for a total of 207 yards. As for Mazur, he caught six passes for 138 yards, scored a touchdown and ran 11 times for a total of 40 yards.
Even senior Ben Hartman stated, “I think the play of the game would go to Tyler Mazur for a catch he pulled in on a third and long situation. He and their safety both went up for it and Ty won the battle in the air, and that sustained a drive for us that we ended up scoring on.”
The Vikings started off strong building a 17-0 lead. They took the opening kick-off and marched 70 yards and in nine plays scored a touchdown. Hartmann had a 25-yard run, which got the Vikings a first down at the Grinnell three-yard line. Barthelmess hit Mazur with a touchdown pass on the very next play. On Grinnell’s first possession, they gave the ball straight back to Lawrence, and a few plays later the Vikes were pulling ahead with a 14-0 lead.
On their next possession, the Vikes drove all the way down to the Pioneer’s five yard line. Unable to score a touchdown on this drive, the Vikings settled for a 23-yard field goal scored by senior Cody Robel making the score 17-0 at the half.
On their first possession of the second half, Grinnell scored a touchdown with a 62-yard drive. Later on in the third quarter the Vikings got the ball at their own two yard line. The Vikings soon moved 98 yards down the field in 13 plays and scored a touchdown with just 15 seconds left in the third quarter. Able to convert all three third downs on the drive, Lawrence soon got a 24-yard completion to sophomore Dominque Dirden, getting them to the Pioneer’s one-yard line. Barthelmess scored just three plays later, giving the Vikings a 17 point lead going into the fourth.
Grinnell answered with a 68-yard touchdown pass cutting the lead to only a 10-point difference with 6:28 left in the game. The unstoppable Vikes held the Pioneers and were able to run out the clock giving them the win with a final score of 24-14!
Hartman commented, “I think the reason we won was that we didn’t have a weak spot the whole game-offense, defense and special teams all played well the whole game.”With a rough last couple of games, this win meant a lot to the Vikes. “We’ve been long overdue for a win, so it was a great momentum builder going into next week’s contest against Knox”Barthelmess added. The Vikes will travel to Knox College this Saturday.